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11 June 2020 - Update #19

This is our latest email bulletin relating to the COVID-19 outbreak - for more information about our services, how we can help you and links to national and local updates, please visit our dedicated webpage.

As of next week, non-essential retailers will be able to reopen their doors to customers in Southampton. This bulletin will focus on how we are helping to prepare the city through a number of social distancing measures and procedures, what our businesses should expect and a reminder of the actions they should consider before reopening. We’ve also included a reminder of contact details for our security and cleaning teams.

BID Recovery Plan

Social Distancing Measures

Over the past few weeks, we have been working in partnership with Southampton City Council to develop and implement a recovery plan to prepare our city centre for reopening. We have summarised below how the city will look in the coming weeks and the measures we are putting in place.

  • Social distancing queue marker floor vinyls, designed by a local artist, Nathan Evans, will be installed in the city centre from 13 June to help your customers queue safely outside your business. If you wish to discuss queuing arrangements outside your premises please contact our Operations Director, Rebecca Handley at

  • A series of digital assets are being produced to help communicate to visitors how the measures work and what they should do

  • Printed posters will be created for businesses to put in their window to display guidance for customers. Please note this is not to replace the official Government COVID-Secure poster which is strongly advised to be displayed to inform customers your business has completed the correct safety procedures

  • We are also working with the Council on the widening of footpaths in areas of the city centre to make social distancing more easily achievable. This will involve temporarily removing car parking spaces and bus stops to allow for safer foot flow and queuing systems. Work has begun on Portland Terrace, while on-road car parking areas in Bedford Place and East Street may also be removed.

Security and Cleaning Measures

Our security team will continue to help support businesses in the BID area who are open (or will soon be open again) to tackle anti-social behaviour, theft and crime. We are liaising regularly with the Hampshire Constabulary to enable a joined-up approach on the city’s recovery and how best to manage and keep businesses, visitors and residents safe. The cleaning teams are preparing the city centre by disinfecting high contact areas of streets, parks, and car parks with antiviral spray on a daily basis. As a reminder, you can contact our security team on 07725 737236, and our cleaning team can be reached at

Managing Your Business

COVID-19 Secure 

GO! Southampton has created guidelines for our levy payers to enable you to safely open your business for customers and staff, manage customer queues without impacting other businesses and create a safe and welcoming experience to attract and retain customers. A letter and full guidance will be distributed to levy payers and added to our website next week.

It is extremely important for businesses to take the correct steps and follow Government guidance before they reopen and let customers know they are safe to shop with them. Employers must carry out a
COVID-19 risk assessment, in consultation with workers or trade unions and manage the risks associated with their business. Business Secretary, Alok Sharma stated on Tuesday 9 June that "if a shop reopens without putting in place responsible steps to reduce the transmission of the virus, we can take a range of actions, including issuing enforcement notices. Local authorities and the Health and Safety Executive regularly carry out checks and respond to concerns from the public regarding risks in the workplace.". 

Manage Your Queues 

The social distancing floor markers that will be installed will help businesses, however it will be down to each business to safely manage queues outside their shop and not let queues encroach on neighbouring businesses. Below we have highlighted some points businesses should consider: 

  • Where possible businesses should have separate exit and entry doors to support an in-store one-way system

  • To maximise the amount of space left for pedestrians and other street users queues should not exceed beyond the boundaries set by Southampton City Council and queues should not go into a road that remains open to traffic

  • Best practice guidelines should be followed which includes only one adult member from a family/household to be admitted to limit numbers

  • Support should be provided for customers with additional accessibility requirements. If a customer requires support from a carer or personal assistant, this should be allowed

  • Staffed queue management would include ensuring queues do not encroach on other businesses and there is a process for asking customers not to join the queue if it is full 

  • Smaller independent stores may not have their own security for active queue management but are requested to ensure their queue is monitored and managed by their staff

Promote Your Business

It is important to let your customers know when you are reopening, whether that be fully, with reduced opening hours or for takeaway/collection only. You can do this in the following ways:

  • Email your new opening times, information as well as supporting images and links. We can then promote this on our Visit Southampton channels 

  • Check your business listing on the Visit Southampton website. If something isn’t right contact us on the above email and we can change it

  • Check your Google Business listing and update any incorrect information. Google has added an option for businesses to upload specific COVID-19 posts to communicate to their customers. Learn about Google My Business here

  • Communicate on your own channels as to when you are opening and let customers know of the specific actions you have taken to make sure your business is secure. This will be the vital reassurance they need in having the confidence to return to the city and begin shopping

Local News 

Green Transport Recovery Plan 

Southampton City Council has announced their £4.1m Green Transport Recovery Plan which aims to not only encourage more sustainable travel in Southampton but support social distancing measures in the city during COVID-19. This plan, delivered by the Council’s highway partners Balfour Beatty Living Places, will help implement the above mentioned measures of widening footpaths to create more queuing space as well as closing some car parks and roads to enable more suitable areas for social distancing to take place. During lockdown travel habits have dramatically changed, with Southampton seeing a reduction in road traffic and an increase in cycling which has resulted in a safer, quieter, cleaner and greener city. The Council’s plan will put measures in place to help maintain this way of life, making it easier for workers and residents to travel more sustainably coming out of lockdown. To read the full plan go here.

Apply For The Workplace Travel Grant
Southampton City Council and My Journey are offering funding to help support businesses with sustainable travel measures. The scheme has been designed to encourage companies to promote sustainable travelling options (walking or cycling) to their staff. The funding could help pay for innovative solutions such as improved facilities (lockers or showers), cycle training and bike maintenance sessions for employers or improved cycle/ pedestrian routes. Read the full document as to what you can and cannot apply for here. Applications are open between 15 June and 11 September 2020. Fill out an application form and send to

National News 

Face Coverings On Public Transport

Last week the Government announced that from Monday 15 June face coverings should be worn by anyone using public transport including bus, coach, train, tube, ferry and aircraft to help minimise the risk of spreading the disease where social distancing is particularly difficult. If you are not wearing a face covering, you can be refused travel, enforced by transport operators and the British Transport Police. See guidance on how to wear and make your own face covering here.

Useful Links 

  • For Government guidance for businesses, employers and employees go here
  • Sign up for the Government’s specific business support email bulletins here
  • Sign up for general Government coronavirus email updates here
  • View the Council's latest coronavirus information here
  • Sign up for the Council's business e-newsletter here
  • Check if your business can reopen here
  • Read HSE’s short guide to working safely during the coronavirus outbreak here
  • Read how to clean your workplace safely here
  • Read the Governments COVID-19 Action Plan here
  • Read the 'Talking with your workers about preventing coronavirus' from HSE here
  • Find more guidance and frameworks from the High Streets Task Force here

Our Contact Information 

You can reach the BID team via If you have any queries at all, or if you think we might be able to help you with something specific, please do not hesitate to contact us.